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Sunday, 2 October 2011

Which apple?

How many varieties of apples can you name?

Probably just a handful.

But despite the limited selection available commercially, there are in fact around 2000 different kinds in the UK, and fifty of those grown in West London were on display at a recent harvest celebration at Turnham Green (left). They had wonderful names like Lane’s Prince Albert, Ellison’s Orange, D’Arcy Spice, Laxton’s Fortune, Newton Wonder, Lord Lambourne and Howgate Wonder. The oldest was the small, red, flattish Court Pendu Plat, cultivated since 1613, though probably enjoyed by the Romans.
Some visitors to the event brought with them apples to be identified by expert Steve Oram. He immediately recognised the one I had as a Blenheim Orange, an 18th c variety good for eating or cooking (left).

The day was organised by Abundance London.
Over the past few weeks, with the help of local school children, its volunteers have picked around two tons of fruit which would otherwise have gone to waste. Some was on sale at the event, either fresh from the tree or transformed into jam, chutney, cakes, crumble and juice. Delicious!

A reminder that Apple Day - a celebration of this fruit - is on October 21. More details of events at

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